Saawariya

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Saawariya
SaawariyaPoster.jpg
Movie poster for Saawariya
Directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Produced by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Written by Prakash Kapadia
Vibhu Puri
Based on White Nights 
by Fyodor Dostoyevski
Narrated by Rani Mukerji
Starring Ranbir Kapoor
Sonam Kapoor
Salman Khan
Rani Mukerji
Zohra Sehgal
Music by Monty Sharma
Cinematography Ravi K. Chandran
Editing by Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Studio SLB Films
Distributed by Sony Pictures
Meteor Pictures
Release dates
  • 9 November 2007 (2007-11-09)
Running time 140 minutes
Country India
Language Hindi/English
Box office INR360 million (US$6.0 million)
(nett gross)

Saawariya (or Sanwariya another pronunciation) (Hindi: सावरिया, translation: My Love) is a 2007 Hindi romance film produced and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film is based on Fyodor Dostoevsky's short story "White Nights".

Co-produced by Sony Pictures Entertainment and released on 9 November 2007, it is the first Bollywood movie to receive a North American release by a Hollywood studio,[1] shortly preceding Walt Disney Pictures' animated feature Roadside Romeo (2008), and Warner Bros.' Chandni Chowk to China.[1] Additionally, it is one of the first Bollywood films to be released on Blu-ray Disc.[2]

The film marks the debut of both the lead actors; Ranbir Kapoor (son of actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Singh) and Sonam Kapoor (daughter of Anil Kapoor).[3] It also stars Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan in cameos and Zohra Sehgal in a supporting role.

It flopped as it clashed with Shahrukh Khan's Om Shanti Om.

Plot[edit]

The story is narrated by Gulabji (Rani Mukerji), a prostitute who frequents RK Bar, the town's most luxurious club. The bar's lead singer, Ranbir Raj (Ranbir Kapoor), whom she affectionately calls "Saawariya" ("blue lover"), is a free-spirited and kindhearted guy. Despite knowing what Gulabji does, Raj is friendly to her, and unlike other men, is kind to the other prostitutes, trying to brighten their sad lives. When he tells Gulabji that he needs a job and somewhere to stay, she tells him that there is only one woman who'll give him a place to stay: Lilian (Zohra Sehgal) – but she allows only those she likes.

Raj meets Lilian and they have an emotional conversation, during which Lillian reveals she had a son who left her many years ago and never returned. She lets Raj stay with her because he reminds her of her long-lost son. That night, Raj meets a mysterious girl. He tries to talk to her, but under the wrong impression, she shouts at him to go away. Raj tells her that he will, on the condition that he'd escort her to safety, lest someone with bad intentions trouble her. As predicted by Raj, a drunkard begins following her and Raj saves her from him. After that, she allows him to escort her home. Raj discovers her name is Sakina (Sonam Kapoor) and falls in love with her.

Raj decides to confess his feelings to Sakina. He resigns from his job to see her and calls her but she ignores him. He gets angry with her but the pair reconcile. He takes her to his favorite place, on the top of the clock tower. There, Sakina reveals that she is in love with a man named Imaan (Salman Khan). Imaan had left but promised to return for Sakina on Eid. It has been a while but she is still waiting for him faithfully. Hearing this, Raj becomes heartbroken and doesn't confess. However, he refuses to believe that there is an Imaan. He asks Gulabji for advice, who advises him to tell Sakina how he feels. With the entire neighborhood cheering him on, Raj decides to propose to Sakina on the night of Eid.

He takes Sakina to RK Bar and sings his favorite song for her. Sakina remembers that it’s time to meet Imaan and leaves. Following her, Raj tells her that he has discovered that there is no Imaan. Sakina tells him to let her go. Hurt, Raj goes to Gulabji, saying he wants to sleep with her. Gulabji, who loves Raj, is deeply hurt and gets Raj thrown out onto the street, where he is beaten up by a few of Gulabji's henchmen. He returns to where Sakina is waiting. Imaan has still not arrived. Sakina, heartbroken, becomes sure that Imaan will not come back so she decides to be with Raj. Raj tries to make Sakina happy and succeeds. When they are returning home, they pass the bridge where they first met and see Imaan waiting for Sakina. Sakina hesitates as she steps toward Imaan. Raj, however, tells her to go and Sakina reunites with Imaan.

The movie ends as a tribute to Raj Kapoor, where Raj walks and sings in a style similar to Kapoor from the film Shree 420, remembering the sweet moments he spent with Sakina.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Bhansali initially wanted Rani Mukerji and Salman Khan's extended guest appearance to be hidden from the public[4] but later made public that they would be seen in supporting roles.[5]

Elaborate sets for the imaginary city where the film is set, complete with lakes, streets, shops, signages and a clock tower, were designed by production designer Omung Kumar, who had previously worked with Bhansali on Black (2005).[6]

The first official teaser of the film was accessed by New York Times on 25 August 2007.[7] The first screening was held on 28 October 2007, though only for those associated with the film.[8]

Story controversy[edit]

After the release of the film, it became embroiled in controversy. There were charges that the plot was lifted from the Tamil movie Iyarkai, without the permission of the film's National Award winning director S. P. Jananathan.[9] But, the story of Iyarkai itself is loosely based on "White Nights", a Russian short story by Fyodor Dostoevsky, just as Saawariya claims to be.

Soundtrack[edit]

The soundtrack for the film was released to mixed reviews on 19 September 2007. Indiafm gave the music three out of five stars, stating that, "The title song would be remembered for months to come, if not years, the others do not really go that extra distance".[10]

Saawariya
Studio album by Monty Sharma
Released
19 September 2007 (India)
Genre Feature film soundtrack
Length 47:44
Label
Producer Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Monty Sharma chronology
Black
(2005)
Saawariya
(2007)
TBA
(2009)
Song Singer(s) Duration Notes
"Saawariya" Shail Hada 02:45 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Rani Mukerji
"Jab Se Tere Naina" Shaan 04:44 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor
"Masha-Allah" Kunal Ganjawala & Shreya Ghoshal 05:28 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor
"Thode Badmaash" Shreya Ghoshal 03:19 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor
Composer: Sanjay Leela Bhansali
"Yun Shabnami" Parthiv Gohil 05:15 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor
"Daras Bina Nahin Chain" Richa Sharma, Shail Hada & Parthiv Gohil 04:45 Present as the background music in the film
"Sawar Gayi" Shreya Ghoshal 03:42 Not in movie
"Jaan-E-Jaan" Kunal Ganjawala & Shreya Ghoshal 05:59 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor
"Pari" Kunal Ganjawala 05:19 Picturised on Rani Mukerji & Ranbir Kapoor
"Chhabeela" Alka Yagnik 05:23 Picturised on Rani Mukerji & Ranbir Kapoor
"Saawariya (Reprise)" Shail Hada 03:06 Picturised on Ranbir Kapoor & Sonam Kapoor

Reception[edit]

Despite high expectations for the film, Saawariya did not live up to its expectations throughout the Indian audience. On the other hand, Saawariya got mixed reviews in other countries. It maintains a 39% rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 5/10[11] and a 44% Mixed or average rating on MetaCritic.[12] Newcomers Ranbir and Sonam's performances were praised, and Ranbir Kapoor won Best Male Debut at the Filmfare Awards. The film was commercially a flop.

Awards[edit]

Filmfare Awards
Screen Awards
Stardust Awards
IIFA Awards

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chhabra, Aseem, "From Bollywood to Chinatown: Warner Bros. teams with India for 'Chandni Chowk' martial-arts musical", Film Journal International, 14 January 2009
  2. ^ "Bollywood Comes to Blu-ray with 'Saawariya'". High-Def Digest. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  3. ^ "Sanjay Leela Bhansali on Saawariya". 27 March 2006. Retrieved 30 April 2007. 
  4. ^ "Rani Mukherji to play courtesan in Saawariya". 9 November 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2007. 
  5. ^ "Rani plays a prostitute in Saawariya". 8 January 2007. Retrieved 30 September 2007. 
  6. ^ Deepanjana Pal (September 2013). "Places Other Than This". The Big Indian Picture. Retrieved 2013-12-06. 
  7. ^ "mid-day.com". Saawariya Debuts in New York Times. Retrieved 16 September 2007. 
  8. ^ "'Saawariya' first screening held". Retrieved 30 October 2007. 
  9. ^ Saawariya is Iyarkai movie story
  10. ^ "Music review". 27 March 2006. Retrieved 21 September 2007. 
  11. ^ "Saawariya at Rotten Tomatoes". 18 October 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  12. ^ "Saawariya at Metacritic". 18 October 2008. Retrieved 27 June 2009. 
  13. ^ a b Bollywood Hungama News Network (26 January 2008). "Winners of Max Stardust Awards 2008". Indiafm.com. Retrieved 26 January 2008. 

External links[edit]